Friday, March 2, 2012

Tart is closing! Hola! is opening! Things are happening!

Holy S, cray-zee things are happening downtown!

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Holy S are things happening with restaurants downtown! Sit down, ‘cause you’re going to need to focus for all this.

First, Tart will close its doors this weekend on the corner of Bond Street and Minnesota Avenue.

Stunning, we know. Stunned the restaurant staff who learned of it yesterday, too. FYI.

“We all kind of found out last minute,” said Jake Starr, a Tart employee. “Really last minute.”

The restaurant will be open through art walk tonight, but will close when the restaurant runs out of food. That could be later tonight or tomorrow, said restaurant staff.

Second, Hola! has bought Tart and will open it’s fourth restaurant in that location, building on the success of their other spots—on 27th Street, in the Old Mill and in Sunriver at the old Trout House location.

The Sunriver Hola! location, by the way, opens Monday night for dinner at 5 p.m. Then starting Tuesday it will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week through the summer season.

No word yet on when the new downtown Hola! will open. A general manager with the restaurants said things have happened very quickly—final details on the purchase weren’t ironed out until just this week.

Third, a new restaurant called Barrio Restaurant and Tapas Bar opened yesterday in the former Gatsby’s location. The owners of food carts Soupcon and El Sancho closed their carts, which had been located next to Blacksmith, on Valentine’s Day to open the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant.

Fourth, the rumor mill is spinning about the old fire hall location that formerly housed Bourbon Street and Staccato. But you’ll have to stay tuned to the Bent Blog because the players involved won’t be ready to announce the deal for at least a week or so.

Fifth, this news is all set against the larger backdrop of infighting among restaurateurs James Orsillo, owner of Amalia’s Mexican Restaurant downtown, and Gavin McMichael, the founder of Blacksmith Restaurant, Bourbon Street and Gatsby’s. Orsillo claims McMichael, who declared bankruptcy last year, defrauded him out of about $180,000 relating to plans to expand Blacksmith and Gatsby’s and create another restaurant called Ruby’s Lounge next door to Gatsby’s. McMichael said the claims are baseless. Bourbon Street and Gatsby’s closed last year.

Sixth, add to all that the shuttering of Typhoon! and Bo Bistro last month after the owners of the Thai-food chain were formally charged with wage violations by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and it’s been a totally cray-zee month!

P.S. The rumors you may have heard about who’s moving into that Typhoon! location are just those- rumors. Darren Powderly of Compass Commercial, with whom the space is listed, said there are several businesses interested in the space and all talks are merely preliminary.

Stay tuned to the Source for all the latest!


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